To First American’s Clients and Colleagues,
Reflecting on the successful year that has passed, I cannot help but have a deep sense of gratitude. Thank you. To our clients, thank you for the faith you have placed in us. We will never take it for granted. And to my colleagues, thank you for your passion and commitment to our enterprise. It inspires me each day.
In fiscal 2018, First American experienced its 7th consecutive record-breaking year. Record new business volume. Record earnings. Record number of new clients. Following a momentous 2017, when we achieved a new business volume milestone, our talented team built upon that success, growing to $1.11 billion in new business volume in 2018, again delivering a growth rate that is over 2x our industry average.
Our bold vision is to become the best company to work for and the best company to work with. In 2018, we made strides toward that vision. For our colleagues, we expanded our parental leave, sick time off, healthcare benefits, 401(K) match and had record profit sharing. Our company’s success is entirely due to our great colleagues and naturally, they share in the company’s success. Our team earned national recognition, based on third-party, anonymous surveys:
- Best Companies to Work For in New York < 250 FTE (#1)
- FORTUNE 100 Best Medium Sized Workplaces in U.S. (#40)
- FORTUNE 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials in U.S. (#72)
- FORTUNE 25 Best Small/Medium Workplaces in N.Y. (#9)
- Selling Power 50 Best Companies to Sell For (#33)
For our clients, we made several changes to ensure that we deliver best-in-class digital and human experiences. A record number of our clients, more than 70%, choose to interact with us through a digital process. Long gone are the days of paper contracts, mailed invoices and delayed funding. Our clients are remarkable people operating in industries that are quite literally changing the world. The projects we finance for them further their missions. And we are honored to play a small role in their success.
Our clients tell us that they appreciate our expertise and personalized service, so we continue to invest in our capabilities. A total of 106 First American colleagues have earned the Certified Leasing & Finance Professional (CLFP) designation. We now employ more CLFPs than any other company in the world. If we are fortunate enough to talk to a client about their strategy, we want to make sure we know our stuff.
While we are proud of our success, we recognize that we are only just beginning. We are still in building mode. We need to get better each day. In fact, given the profound changes enabled by new technologies in financial services, building and rebuilding is the new norm for those that want to succeed. We are in the fortunate position to be a subsidiary of City National Bank, which is a Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) company. We are proud to be a part of institutions that share our commitment to clients and colleagues. With the resources we have behind us, our future has truly never been brighter.
I am honored to be on this journey with such genuine, hard-working and talented colleagues. And I am enormously grateful for the many clients that choose to work with us.